Plasmonics based micro/nano manufacturing

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Garner, Quincy
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Pal Molian
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Mechanical Engineering
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Since the advent of the Information Age, there has been an ever growing demand to continually shrink and reduce the cost of semiconductor products. To meet this demand, a great amount of research has been done to improve our current micro/nano manufacturing processes and develop the next generation of semiconductor fabrication techniques. High throughput, low cost, smaller features, high repeatability, and the simplification of the manufacturing processes are all targets that researchers continually strive for. To this day, there are no perfect systems capable of simultaneously achieving all of these targets. For this reason, much research time is spent improving and developing new techniques in hopes of developing a system that will incorporate all of these targets. While there are numerous techniques being investigated and developed every year, one of the most promising areas of research that may one day be capable of achieving our desired targets is plasmonics. Plasmonics, or the study of the free electron oscillations in metals, is the driving phenomena in the applications reported in this paper. In chapter 2, the formation of ordered gold nanoparticles on a silicon substrate through the use of energetic surface plasmons is reported. Utilizing a gold/alumina nano-hole antenna and 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser system, semi-periodic gold nanoparticles were deposited onto the surface of a silicon substrate. The novel technique is simpler, faster, and safer than any known gold nanoparticle deposition technique reported in literature. The implementation of this technique has potential wide-ranging applications in photovoltaic cells, medical products, and many others. In chapter 3, a low cost lithography technique utilizing surface plasmons is reported. In this technique, a plasmonic photomask is created by coating a pre-made porous alumina membrane with a thin aluminum layer. A coherent, 337 nm UV laser source is used to expose the photomask and excite surface plasmons along the metal layer. The surface plasmons allow for features well below the wavelength of the incident light to be produced. Along with this technique, a unique texturing effect was discovered using the same photomask and 400 nm UV lamp source. The developed technique promises to greatly reduce the cost and complexity of sub-100 nm photolithography using only a UV light source and the novel plasmonic photomask.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013